Six Ways to Kick Start Your Candidate Search

Six Ways to Kickstart your Candidate Search

So, six ways to kick start your candidate search. You were putting it off until the New Year to fill that vacancy and now it is the New Year! Yikes! If recruitment is outside your comfort zone, then using a recruitment agency like Celtic Careers is a good move. Not only will you improve your chances of finding a suitable candidate fast, you will keep your own focus on running your company while the recruitment process goes on. But you’re not totally off the hook. There are a number of things you should do in your candidate search to make that “Yikes!” into a “Yay!”

1. Set out a process

Even if you are using a recruitment agency, it is still a good idea to set out a recruitment process. Who will have input on the job spec? Who signs it off? Who interviews the candidates put forward by the agency and how many times? Take some time to figure out what will serve you best. The more thought you put into this, the better the whole experience will be, for you and the recruiter.

2. Choose the right recruitment agency

Is a generalist what you need or would you get more focused results if you chose a specialist in your sector, or indeed your geographical area? How experienced is the agency? Do you know anyone who has used them from whom you could get an honest view of their service? If you don’t know anyone, ask if you can speak to an existing client. Many agencies include testimonials on their websites or LinkedIn pages but nothing beats a one-to-one chat for getting candid performance appraisal.

3. Perfect the job specification

A good job description will help the recruitment agency, but it will also help you and a candidate. Sitting down to really think about the role you are filling gives you a rare enough opportunity to take a helicopter view of the department or organisation. It is an opportunity to make strategic changes, so give it the time it deserves.

4. Full disclosure

Make it easy for your recruitment agency to match your vacancy with the right candidate. A really comprehensive job and person specification will go a long way, but is there anything else you need to tell them? No good telling them after they’ve shortlisted candidates that you need someone with social media skills, or that the job will turn into a part-time role in three months. Recruitment agencies will pull from different pools of candidates and someone in the full-time pool probably won’t be interested in the job when it goes part-time and vice versa. You’ll save everyone time by being as clear as possible in your instructions – and this means thinking ahead to anticipate changes to the role.

5. Make sure your website is up to scratch

When you advertise that post, potential candidates will swarm to your website to see what kind of an outfit you are. If you want to attract the best and the brightest, you’d better make sure your online presence doesn’t sabotage you.

An outdated website will do you no favours. I don’t necessarily mean an old website. Older looking websites are fine as long as the content reflects what you are doing today rather than seven years ago when you first built it. When was the last blog posted? Are there any blogs at all? If there are none, hide the page. Does the website take 20 seconds to download? Does it only work in Internet Explorer? Are all the links working, particularly those on the HR pages?

An important question is: is your site mobile friendly? (check if your website is mobile-friendly). According to a LinkedIn survey of more than 3,000 corporate talent acquisition leaders, only 13% of companies have invested adequately in making their recruiting process mobile-friendly. Candidates are researching and sometimes even applying for jobs using their mobile devices, so make sure yours is up to the task. Ok, so the perseverant ones will wait till they get to a desktop to apply, but their impression of your company may have taken a bruising if the process isn’t fit for purpose.

6. Do an audit of your brand on social media

You also need to make sure your social platforms are looking healthy and vibrant. Make sure your news feeds are up to date, and if there’s a platform you’re not using, hide or close it down. If your company gets a lot of customer feedback, including negative feedback, make sure you are responding appropriately. Just as important – make sure that the message your social media accounts give is consistent with your other communications. Do you exude polished professionalism in your HR communications but sound like a teenager in heat on Twitter? Being schizophrenic risks a mismatch with your successful candidate.

Hiring a new member of staff and getting it right is critical to the success of your team and your business. Getting it wrong can be painful and expensive. It’s well worth taking these few steps to improve the experience for you and your recruitment agency.

Good luck!